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Monday, July 4, 2022

Amid stem gun violence, Republicans reject Biden’s ATF nominee on committee

Amid bipartisan efforts to do anything to stop the nation’s epidemic of gun violence, Senate Republicans demonstrated Thursday they won’t support even the simplest steps: a permanent director at the top agency that enforces federal gun laws. to confirm.

Every Republican on the Judiciary Committee voted against advancing President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steven Detelbach.

The committee vote ended in a tie of 11-11. Republicans who did not vote are sans Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Lindsey Graham (SC), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Josh Hawley (Neb. Mo.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), John Kennedy (La.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (Ten.).

Notably, Cornyn is currently leading a bipartisan effort to pass a gun safety package in response to recent mass shootings, including a devastating attack in his home state where 19 children and two children were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde. Teachers were killed. Texas.

Detelbach will still proceed to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote. But only because Democrats can do it on their own, barely. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) can force Detelbach out of the committee by filing a discharge petition.

Each Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reject President Joe Biden’s ATF candidate, Steven Detelbach.

Bill Clark via Getty Images

Schumer indicated Thursday morning that he is ready to move on to Detelbach’s nomination immediately.

“Later today, I will move on to discharge Mr. Detelbach’s nomination from the Judiciary Committee,” he said on the Senate floor. “We need a fully functional, fully staffed ATF so that agency can fulfill its mission of keeping our communities safe from gun violence. Obviously, the gun safety legislation we are negotiating is Very important, but so are fully functioning ATFs.”

The ATF has not had a permanent director for seven years. The position, which has long faced opposition from gun rights groups who don’t want anyone confirmed running the agency regulating them, had only one Senate-confirmed director in 16 years.

Before Detelbach’s committee vote, Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) stated that a vote to confirm him is a vote to secure the nation. He said Detelbach, who has a career spanning two decades as a Justice Department prosecutor, has been endorsed by nearly every major law enforcement organization in the country.

“Seven years, no leadership,” Durbin said. “For sustainability, for accountability, for accountability and for agency morale, it is long overdue.”

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World Nation News Desk
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